Oral & Facial Trauma

Overview

Maxillofacial trauma can be caused by falling, vehicle accidents, assault or sports injuries. Failure to treat oral or facial trauma can lead to various long-term problems, negatively affecting functionality, alignment and smile aesthetics.

The staff at Palmetto Oral & Facial Surgery is uniquely experienced to treat the following types of oral and facial trauma in Greenville and Simpsonville, SC:

 

Damaged Teeth

An avulsed tooth, one that has been knocked out, can be saved if fast action is taken. Keeping the tooth moist by putting it in milk or saliva is recommended. If nothing else is available, water can be used. Do not try to clean the tooth. Get to the dentist as quickly as possible, and if the tooth or bone isn’t damaged, your dentist will be able to put the tooth back in place and hold it in with a soft wire splint. The root should reattach itself to the bone within a month or so, and then the splint will be removed.

 

Fractured Upper or Lower Jaw

Fractures to the lower jaw (mandible) or upper jaw (maxilla) may require orthognathic surgery and orthodontic treatment to align the jaw properly. The dentist will either wire the jaw to let fractures heal or use screws and plates to hold the bones in place as they heal. This procedure, rigid fixation, has a shorter recovery period than jaw wiring.

 

Fractures to Eye Socket, Nose or Cheek Bone

Facial fractures cause swelling and the uncomfortable sensation that teeth are not positioned normally. Opening and closing the mouth may also become difficult. If the fracture isn’t serious, patients may be advised to stick to a liquid diet for a specified amount of time while the body heals itself. If a dental procedure is required, the jaw will either be wired shut or the bones will be surgically placed in position and held together with screws and plates.

 

Facial Lacerations

Injuries to the face not only require suturing to repair the damage and prevent infection, but may also involve the repair of the salivary glands and ducts as well as facial nerves.

 

Lacerations to the Mouth

Intra-oral lacerations may need suturing and require careful observation to ensure there is no damage to teeth or fractures to the face or jaw. Most wounds heal quickly, but your oral surgeon will request a reevaluation after 48 to 72 hours to monitor the healing process.

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